Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/289/20234

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 February 2003

Editorial:

Step Up Action Against War

AFTER THE magnificent events of 15 February, many hoped that worldwide demonstrations of tens of millions would halt the warmongers Bush and Blair in their tracks.

The demonstrations have provoked a sharp political crisis both globally and in Britain. But, the new resolution from Britain and the US to the UN Security Council is, in the words of former New Labour Foreign Office Minister Tony Lloyd, "a de facto declaration of war".

Now, a weight of expectation has fallen on the shoulders of the leaders of the anti-war movement. Stop The War Coalition national steering committee chair Andrew Murray has said: "There is a massive responsibility on the committee to come out with a clear plan of action."

If Blair and Bush won't listen to demonstrations of millions then what will make them listen? As well as ongoing demonstrations, protests etc, the Stop The War Coalition is planning mass civil disobedience on Day X - the day after war is declared.

Part of this mass campaign are plans for some type of action in the workplaces - as well as action in colleges and protests in the communities.

Demonstrations are constantly taking place across the country and will be called in towns and cities at 6pm on the day after war starts; another mass demo is planned in London on the Saturday after war starts and a People's Parliament will be assembled in Westminster on 12 March to show mass opposition to war.

These are all important initiatives but the key now is to turn mass demonstrations into an effective mass anti-war movement, with a serious attempt to involve, as far as possible, the majority of those who marched on 15 February into representative, democratic and effective coalitions at local town, city and regional level.

School student walkouts and protests, initiated by ISR, an affiliate of the Coalition, and other groups will take place mainly on 5 March. This will be an important preparatory test for action in schools and colleges on Day X.

However, the most crucial aspect of delivering a body blow to the Bush/Blair war plans is to organise effective and sustained action in the workplaces.

This industrial action must show how widespread the opposition to war is. Particularly, it needs to be organised on a mass scale that can make the war unsustainable - such as the action of the Motherwell train drivers who are refusing to transport material intended for the war drive.

Stop The War Coalition, through the support of Left trade union general secretaries - like Bob Crow of RMT, Mick Rix of Aslef and Mark Serwotka of PCS - has campaigned for a reconvened TUC to declare opposition to war and possibly organise industrial action for Day X.

Whilst collective strike action organised through trade unions at national and local level would be the best way to concretely mobilise millions of workers against war, and must be fought for within the trade unions, it would be wrong to place all the eggs in the basket of the TUC taking this step.

It's more likely that the TUC would fudge the issue of action while making soft protests against the threat of war.

In that situation, the Left trade union leaders and the leaders of the Stop The War Coalition have to argue and campaign for effective industrial action to be built for from below.

Such a call would fall on fertile ground (see report below). Workers will also be inspired by what the Australian trade unions have done against the war. (See page 5)

In many workplaces and trade unions, workers will now want a clear lead. There will be many ways that action can be taken, including stay-aways and mass sickies, as well as collective workplace strikes. The Coalition agreed at its meeting last week to "popularise all forms of industrial action" in an attempt to cut across the war drive.

The strongest form of action would be officially sanctioned strikes, which could happen in many workplaces, but a call must also be made for all workers to stay away in protest on Day X.

That can then be built on, if war proceeds, into a movement that can make military action unsustainable.


Building the anti-war campaign in the workplace

THE FOLLOWING motion was passed by the AGM of CWU London South West Branch (the branch of postal workers which serves the Houses of Parliament and other important places (reports Peter Redfarn):

"This branch opposes the war on Iraq. We recognise the war is being driven by the needs of American imperialism to grab the oil resources of the Middle East. The Blair government is following America's lead in the hopes of rescuing Britain's slumping capitalist economy and to strengthen his government's power.

"This branch recognises that this war will affect the lives of every CWU member. We ask who will pay for this war? The answer is that as Blair declares war on the people of Iraq this government is declaring war on the public sector unions at home. We see this in Prescott's plan to impose dictatorial rule over the FBU. First the FBU then us. We believe the people of Iraq and British people face the same enemy in the form of the Labour government.

"This branch applauds the Scottish railway workers who took action by refusing to load MOD war equipment. We call upon the leadership of the CWU to give its full support to all workers and unions who take industrial action against the war and to fight for this position in the TUC."

What you can do:

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 28 February 2003:

Stop The Countdown To War

Strike And Protest Against The War

Step Up Action Against War

Hypocrite Bush's New Nuke Programme

Aslum Seekers: Blunkett's Harsh Laws Illegal

Italy: Direct Action Against War

Bush tries to carve up Iraq After Saddam

Ankle-cuffed for 18 hours!

Greece: Workers And Bosses On A Collision Course

'Partnership'= Benefits For Bosses


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 February 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

War:

triangleOpinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Do Trump's antics make nuclear war more likely?

triangleSalford Socialist Party: A socialist look at the Vietnam War

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Is there a threat of nuclear war?

Unions:

triangleAppeal from Iranian independent unions

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Trade unions:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

triangleSocialism 2017: ideas to change the world

TUC:

triangleNSSN pre-TUC rally

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

Stop the War Coalition:

triangleDebates on building the anti-Trump movement

Government:

triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

Iraq:

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

Anti-war:

triangleTories Out demo - Photos

Britain:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/1/18

Labour

Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

17/1/18

Trump

Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

17/1/18

NHS

NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

15/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

10/1/18

Tories

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

10/1/18

NHS

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

10/1/18

Education

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

10/1/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/1/18

Teachers

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

3/1/18

Fire service

Fire service victory

3/1/18

Fares

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

3/1/18

Higher Education

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

3/1/18

Virgin

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn

3/1/18

Homes

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

3/1/18

Fat cats

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2